A fourth time around for World Nuclear Energy Day

December 1, 2023, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

World Nuclear Energy Day takes place tomorrow, marking the 81st anniversary of the day in 1942 when Enrico Fermi and his team achieved the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction with Chicago Pile-1. It also is the anniversary of the first commercial nuclear reactor reaching criticality—at Shippingport, Pa., on December 2, 1957.

The goal: World Nuclear Energy Day (WNED), which was established as an annual celebration in 2020, strives to create awareness and drive nuclear energy literacy while improving the teaching of energy efficiency, resilience, sustainability, power technology, and carbon reduction. More generally, it is a “celebration of nuclear energy and the people who make it happen,” according to its website.

WNED activities: Participating companies and organizations around the world are recognizing WNED in various ways, for example, by hosting in-person or virtual tours of facilities; sponsoring panel discussions, workshops, or other educational outreach events; or working to promote nuclear energy through legislative efforts.

Click here to see summaries of some of the activities from last year's World Nuclear Energy Day.

Power to the People: This year’s theme, “Power to the People,” denotes the “inclusion of people all over the globe to the positive benefits of nuclear energy” and reminds the nuclear sector to “raise awareness by engaging with the far-ranging global network of advocates and supporters of nuclear energy,” according to WNED website.

Previous themes were “A Chain Reaction” in 2022 and “Nuclear in the Neighborhood” in 2021. The theme of the inaugural event in 2020 honored the commitment of people in the nuclear sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

About WNED: WNED is the eponymous organization behind the celebration. It was started and is still coordinated by Jim Scherrer, an information technology deployment expert who has provided services to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The day is sponsored by numerous companies, universities, institutes, and other organizations.

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